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Within the cover story, "Disarming the Constitution," is a sidebar report on gun control in Europe titled "Is Gun Control Helping or Hurting Europe?" Many anti-Second Amendment activists in the United States advocate gun control similar to the more restrictive laws seen in much of Europe. But is gun control really helping Europe’s crime rates or creating more victims? This data is pretty hard for gun-grabbers to explain.
Below is the special sidebar report on gun control in Europe from the November 2012 issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
If decreasing the number of legally owned guns is supposed to help prevent crime, it’s not working in Europe. Many developed nations with high rates of gun ownership have murder rates that are actually lower than many developed nations where gun ownership is much more rare. For example, as Table 1 shows, the murder rate in Luxembourg, where handguns are banned and ownership of any type of gun is almost nil, was about nine times higher than Germany.
So what causes the violence? A 2007 Harvard study titled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy says that “the determinants of murder and suicide are basic social, economic, and cultural factors, not the prevalence of some form of deadly mechanism.”
As the authors point out, just as American cities with the highest violent crime rates are also the cities with the most stringent gun controls, European nations with severe gun restrictions also have high crime rates. As Table 2 demonstrates, European nations with stricter gun controls have higher murder rates than their neighbors that allow handguns.
This “does not necessarily prove” that a nation’s gun-control measures cause higher murder rates than a neighboring nation with greater handgun ownership. But we do see that “nations which have violence problems tend to adopt severe gun controls, but these do not reduce violence.”
What the Harvard study finds is that those who claim more guns do equal more death cannot bear the burden of proof “because there simply is no large number of cases in which the widespread prevalence of guns among the general population has led to more murder.” And those same advocates cannot consistently show that “a reduction in the number of guns available to the general population has led to fewer deaths.” It appears that gun ownership is, in fact, irrelevant (or has little relevance) to a nation’s murder rate, as shown in Table 3, which shows Eastern European countries hold to the pattern that that higher rates of gun ownership do not lead to higher rates of murder.
Finally, gun-control advocates specifically hate handguns. They are determined to ignore socio-cultural and economic factors in order to convince the American public that these guns are an especially evil form of weaponry. But if handguns are the problem, then Table 4 should be awfully hard for them to explain.
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